DUBAI: Ajman hotels were busier than Dubai in the first quarter as staycationers escaped the city and headed north.
New data from hospitality research group STR, reveals that the UAE's northern emirates recorded some of the best hotel occupancy across the entire region last month.
Dubai occupancy for the first quarter of 2021 was 61.7 percent while Ajman raced ahead with occupancy of 74.8 percent, the company told Arab News.
The northern emirates benefited as popular getaways for staycationers, STR said.
Overall, the region’s occupancy came in at 54 percent for March. That was a 52.4 percent increase in comparison with March 2020, but more importantly, a 26 percent decrease from the pre-pandemic March 2019, STR said. Because year-over-year comparisons have become skewed due to the earliest pandemic impact last year, STR uses 2019 as the recovery benchmark.
At the country level, Qatar posted the highest absolute occupancy (71.2 percent) and came closest to the 2019 comparable (-0.4 percent). That means that Qatar was less than a percentage point away from a full occupancy recovery if looking only at that March data. The UAE (62 percent) ranked second in absolute occupancy, sitting 23.9 percent below the 2019 benchmark. On the other side of the spectrum, Jordan was the lowest occupancy performer in both absolute terms (21.3 percent) comparison with March 2019 (-65 percent).